Simple Apple Tart

Yum! It’s summer and warm again!

This apple tart is really easy to make and can be in any shape or form you’d like it to be in. I ended up making a long oval-ish apple tart because I had a few too many apples compared to my tart crust, but in the original recipe photos, it’s a cuter circle shape. If you’re craving anything with apple and cinnamon and sugar, this is a very fast, quick option.

The crust is buttery and flakey

Since I’m a student, cost is always an issue with any new recipes I try, and I’m happy to say that this dessert is very cheap! I used two little apples and I already had the baking essentials (flour, sugar, salt, etc.) in my pantry.

Recipe (original from Taste of Home)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
6-1/2 teaspoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups chopped peeled tart apples (I didn’t peel mine)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, warmed (I didn’t include this)

Apples + Cinnamon + Sugar = Winning combination!

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water and vanilla, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-in. circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Combine the filling ingredients; spoon over pastry to within 2 in. of edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over filling.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Drizzle with caramel topping (optional). Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings (my boyfriend and I usually finish it off between the two of us in one sitting though…)


Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb was one of those things that always confused me at the grocery store. I never had it growing up, and when I started shopping and cooking for myself, I had a hard time reconciling this vegetable that looked like red celery with the sweet, tart rhubarb pies I’d tried once or twice in the past. I visited Ireland about 3 weeks ago and had the most delicious rhubarb apple crisp for breakfast one morning, and decided that I had to try making a rhubarb dessert myself.


I also wanted to take this chance to improve on my pie crust technique, especially after the disappointing oil pie crust I’d made for my blueberry pie (2 recipes ago on this blog). I made sure to use butter and because I don’t have a pastry cutter, I diligently smashed it into the flour with a whisk. It took awhile and I had to continually scoop lumps of butter out of the whisk, but it was well worth it–Boyfriend rated the crust a 5 out of 5 stars. Success!


The rhubarb and strawberry filling was also delicious. I used a Food Network recipe that they had quaintly named “Grandma’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie” and I’ll definitely use it again. I used a different pie crust recipe from the one they recommended, however.

Pie Crust (makes 2 crusts)
2.5 cups flour
3/4 cups butter (1.5 sticks)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water

Combine salt and flour, then slice butter into small pats. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I made do with a whisk because I don’t have a super well-equipped kitchen, and it turned out fine. Add the 1/2 cup cold water slowly, until the mixture starts to stick together. Form into a ball with your hands (it might still be a bit crumbly, that’s okay) and wrap tightly in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or longer if you like. You can prepare and make the filling during this time.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Filling (adapted from Food Network)
2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons minute tapioca (I did not have this; I meant to substitute corn starch, but I forgot!!! More details about this failure below)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.

The original recipe also included “1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water, and large granule sugar” for brushing and garnishing the pie crust with–I skipped this step because I was lazy.




Now it’s confession time–I forgot to add the tapioca/corn starch! I realized this as soon as I cut into that beautiful pie up there, and all the juices immediately leaked out in a very water-y fashion. It still tasted delicious–sweet, tart, with a lemon-rhubarb-strawberry flavor. But it just didn’t have that thickened pie filling texture. It was kind of disappointing because we weren’t able to get an awesome photo of a beautiful pie slice. The fruit itself tasted fantastic, and the crust was perfect. But there was a lot of watery juice everywhere–we poured it out of the pie plate to avoid soaking the crust, and weren’t sure what to do with the leftover juice. There was a lot of it and we didn’t want it going to waste.

That’s when Boyfriend came up with a great idea–pouring the juice into an ice cube tray to make mini rhubarb-strawberry flavored popsicles!


These were so good. They tasted like rhubarb-strawberry flavored sorbet. We had 2 for lunch today and more after dinner. Nice, cool treat for summer. I’m tempted to “mess up” next time and leave out the thickener in the pie again so we can make more of these.


Super yummy. Try it with vanilla ice cream!

We also made another video! Check it out:




Creamy Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I’m going to get to the ice cream, but first we have another exciting new development on the blog. Not only does the fancy new camera take fancy photos, it can also take fancy video. We’ve come out of the stone age into the 21st century!

Boyfriend (aka Guinea Pig #1) has a bit of background in video editing and is working on making it a full career. Ice-cream making gave him an opportunity to film the process  put together a super short video that’s pretty well done in my opinion (no personal bias here of course). Check it out at the end of the post!


Last night I mixed together copious amounts of sugar, heavy cream, milk, and peanut butter to create a delicious peanut butter ice cream. I was able to buy this Cuisinart ice cream maker for $20 from my friend/roommate (now ex-roommate) as our lease ended and we were moving out of our apartment. I myself am essentially moving cross-country in less than a month and have been trying hard to get rid of a lot of junk and non-essentials–however, I couldn’t resist acquiring the ice cream maker.


And look at the results! I’ll tie it to the roof of my car for the move if I have to.

The ice cream maker came with a little handy recipe book. Here’s the recipe for peanut butter ice cream:

Peanut Butter Ice Cream (from Cuisinart)
2 cups cream
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

The recipe recommended using chopped-up peanut butter cups, but I went with chocolate chips since that’s what I had already in the pantry.

Mix together the peanut butter and white sugar, then add milk and cream. Add vanilla. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or overnight (I actually skipped this step and it turned out fine). Turn on ice cream maker and slowly pour in mixture. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes for the ice cream to begin firming up. About 5 minutes before it’s done, add your chocolate chips (or peanut butter cups).





The little Cuisinart recipe book had a bunch of other ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt options. I’m interested in trying the strawberry ice cream next, which would be the perfect treat on a hot summer day.

And here’s the video, which I would describe as visual accompaniment to the recipe; there aren’t actual instructions or narration, but it can give you a quick snapshot of what the ice-cream making process is like and help visualize some parts of the recipe if ice-cream making is unfamiliar to you. Hopefully we’ll be able to do more of this kind of thing in the future for other recipes. It was quite fun to film and I really liked the finished product. Enjoy!

Blueberry Pie

Summertime is pie time.

I’m on a continuous quest to find the perfect pie crust recipe. Unfortunately I didn’t have any butter when I was making this pie, so I went with a vegetable oil recipe. This one turned out okay, and it would have turned out better had I not overbaked the pie by about 3-5 minutes. I’m going to try it again (probably this week) but as of now, the verdict is still out.

The reason I’m not waiting until I re-do this recipe to post about it is because I’m really excited about Boyfriend’s new camera, which is about 5,483,304 times better than my iPhone camera. I think it’s going to be the ticket to getting a million subscribers, some advertisers, and a book deal. It’s only a matter of time. Take a look:

IMG_0018New York Times bestseller list, here I come!!!

Pie Crust (Adapted from here)
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
0.5 cups milk
0.5 cups oil (I used vegetable, you could use any kind of oil I presume, even olive)

Sift together flour and salt, then pour in milk and oil. Combine until mixture forms together, and divide into 2 equal lumps. Wrap in plastic wrap (I didn’t have any saran wrap, so I put them in an air-tight tupperware) and refrigerate for a bit. I left them in the fridge for about 45 minutes. After dough has chilled, roll out and make sure the crusts are large enough by hovering your pie plate (I used a 9-inch pyrex) over it and checking to make sure the dough overlaps the edge of the plate by 0.5-1 inch. Put one of the rolled-out crusts in the pie plate. I cut the other one in strips to make a lattice pie crust, using these instructions.

Pie Filling (Adapted from here)
About 5-6 cups of blueberries (I used 2 plastic cartons of blueberries from my grocery store)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup corn starch (I didn’t have corn starch so I used potato starch)
1 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Mix together all of the filling ingredients, then pour into prepared crust in the pie plate. Cover with lattice topping, then dot small pats of butter into the exposed blueberry spaces. The original recipe called for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then 35-40 minutes at 350, but by the time I checked my time at 35 minutes of total baking time, it was too brown! This is probably more of a problem with my crappy rented apartment oven than anything. Keep an eye on it.



I think my version of this pie still has some tweaking left in it–I was missing a lot of the ingredients from the original recipe, so that might be why my version just didn’t wow me. I’ll probably try this one again. You can see from my photos that the crust is a bit too brown from overbaking. Even so, it was still juicy, summery, and tart, which is basically all you need from a summer pie.